Organizing is a passion of mine. It focuses my mind and calms me. I’ve been told this is weird but I don’t give a shit. Everyone should do what makes them happy and organizing does that for me. So when one of our kitchen drawers became overrun by crazy (you know the drawer) it was time to work my magic. And by “magic” I mean “my husband was going to do it if I didn’t.” No offense to him, but organizing isn’t really his thing. It’s mine and I’m good at it. Plus, I thought it’d make for an interesting post on how to organize.
Where to Start
Organizing can be easy. You just have to break it into pieces and tackle those pieces one by one. If you try to eat the entire pie instead of cutting it into pieces, you’re going to get overwhelmed and sick. A drawer is small but these tactics can be applied to just about anything following these three steps.
Clear it out. Take everything out. Everything. You’re going to want to make sure you have space to do this. If not, I guess you could do it in sections. I organized a closet a few years ago. I ended up taking up 3/4 of the room to work and a month to go through everything, but in the end I had an awesome looking closet. Luckily, the drawer’s contents only took up the counter and only took about an hour.
- Separate and categorize. Now that you have everything laid out in front of you, you can start to go through it. As time goes on we tend to accumulate shit we don’t need. This step is all about getting rid of what you don’t need. Three categories usually cover everything.
- Trash. Anything that is broken, defective, or that you’re not able to donate. Make sure to recycle what you can! Electronics, paints, batteries, and cleaning solutions, to name a few, can usually be recycled through your city or a local business. Don’t be a dick and throw away something that be recycled. It’s not cool.
- Donate. Things that are still working and in good condition but that you no longer have a need for can be donated. If you don’t want to donate you can also give it a friend or family member. The key is not to keep it.
- Keep. Do you need this? Will you use it? Have you used/worn this in the last 6 months? Last year? Did you forget you even had it? Are you lying to yourself? Be honest with this one.
- Execute and reevaluate. Put the trash in the trash, recycle in the recycle, donations in a box, and get to work organizing what you’ll keep.
Start putting away things. Not everything in the “keep” pile will go back and might instead go to another room. You can put things back however you want as long as it makes sense to you. I don’t advise shoving or dumping everything back. Spend a few minutes being deliberate with placement so it’ll, hopefully, stay clear and organized longer.
When you’re done, step back and enjoy your work. I ended up finding something in that drawer that I’d been looking for for almost a year. This is what happens when you allow a space to accumulate too much crap. It becomes a black hole instead of functional.
One tip to keep your work lasting longer is to not get lazy. Sure, it’s easier to just put something wherever but take a few extra steps or minutes and put it where it belongs. You won’t waste time trying to find it later and you won’t have to spend so much time reorganizing when things snowball into a crazy fucking mess again.
I organized a drawer and wrote about the steps I took so I can maybe help someone get their own shit together.